News & Information
Results of Medical Management of Lumbar Spine
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, August 06, 2014 06:24 PM

An article recently published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine examines the medical management of lumbar spine disease to find cost and quality value two years after surgery.

The researchers examined 50 patients with lumbar spondylolisthesis, 50 patients with stenosis and 50 patients with disc herniation. All patients had persisting systems after six weeks of medical management and were eligible for surgical treatment.

The researchers found:

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IOM Wants Big Change in Doc Training
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, August 06, 2014 08:10 AM

An expert panel recommended Tuesday completely overhauling the way government pays for the training of doctors, saying the current $15 billion system is failing to produce the medical workforce the nation needs.  

The federal government, mostly via the Medicare program, currently provides more than $11 billion per year in payments to support the training of doctors who have graduated medical school. Most of that goes to the hospitals that sponsor interns and residents. States, through the Medicaid program, contribute nearly another $4 billion annually.  "The scale of government support for this phase of physician education is unlike that given to any other profession in the nation," said the report.

But there is little data on how those funds are spent and how well they contribute to the preparation of a medical workforce needed.  Not only that, the authors note, "a variety of surveys indicate that recently trained physicians in some specialties cannot perform simple procedures often required in office-based practice and lack sufficient training and experience in care coordination, team-based care, and quality improvement."

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Soylent: 'Future of Food' or Nutritionist's Nightmare?
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, August 06, 2014 07:50 AM

It's a product that seems unassuming enough: a thick, beige, bland liquid reminiscent of pancake batter. But, in fact, the aspirations of Soylent.   -- a product billed as a complete meal replacement.  But don't expect the stuff to win over many nutritionists any time soon.  Several nutritionists are baffled that people would want to go without normal food and reiterated that nutritional science is limited by many unknowns.

Soylent started shipping earlier this year after a period of experimentation with help from a committed do-it-yourself group of followers. So as to dispel any doubt about the intent of Soylent, visitors to the company's website are greeted with the words "What if you never had to worry about food again?"  Its name comes from a 1973 sci-fi film starring Charlton Heston, Soylent Green, in which humanity subsists on artificial food pills that turn out to be made from human flesh, the Soylent formula (which, for the record, includes no human flesh) fulfills all human nutritional requirements, such that a person can live on it exclusively.  The created himself ate nothing but Soylent for 5 months.

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Robert Kennedy Jr. Speaks Out on Vaccines
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, August 05, 2014 12:03 PM

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is putting out a book on the dangers of thimerosal in vaccines.  The book, "Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak: The Evidence Supporting the Immediate Removal of Mercury -- a Known Neurotoxin -- from Vaccines," has just been published.

A description of the book notes "over a decade ago, following a sharp rise in developmental disorders such as autism and [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder], the mercury-containing preservative Thimerosal was widely believed to have been eliminated from vaccine supplies in the United States and abroad. However, dangerous quantities of Thimerosal continue to be used, posing a significant threat to public health and leading to a crisis of faith in vaccine safety."

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Don't Think That You Can Affect Science?
Written by Brooke Shaw   
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 01:16 PM

Science has been popularized into becoming some complex statistical entity that only the "super smart" can comprehend and only the most complex research can identify new findings.  But science is little more than observation, theorization, experimentation and reproducibility, as this story shows.

When 12-year-old Lauren Arrington heard about her sixth-grade science project, she knew she wanted to study lionfish. Her project showed that the lionfish can survive in nearly fresh water. The results blew away professional ecologists. The invasive species has no predators on the Florida coast, so if they were to migrate upstream in rivers, they could pose a threat to the ecosystem.

"Scientists were doing plenty of tests on them, but they just always assumed they were in the ocean," Lauren noted. "So I was like, 'Well, hey guys, what about the river?'"

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